Watch: Grady Jarrett is A Solid Building Block for a New Falcons Defense
The 2019 season has become a disaster of epic proportions for the Atlanta Falcons but there are a couple of bright spots to take away as solid building blocks for the future. Falcon Maven’s Dave Holcomb wrote about one last Thursday, praising the work of tight end Austin Hooper. There’s also a player on defense who has earned the contract extension he signed prior to this season. That man is defensive tackle Grady Jarrett.
It’s mainly through Jarrett’s efforts in anchoring the interior of the Falcons defensive line that has the team seventh in the league in rushing yards per attempt allowed. Jarrett isn’t just one of the Falcons team leaders in tackles, according to Pro Football Reference.com, Jarrett leads all NFL interior linemen with his 44 tackles.
Jarrett has also been dominant from the inside with his pass rush. He has three of the Falcons seven sacks this season. Jarrett has also been credited with six quarterback hurries and four knockdowns.
For most teams, having an interior lineman who can create a push like Jarrett can up the middle would make life easier for the edge rushers to get home. If a quarterback can’t step up into the pocket, he should be getting driven into the path of the team’s defensive ends. That hasn’t helped Vic Beasley or Takk McKinley this season though, which is one more reason why the Falcons will have to upgrade on the outside of their defensive line.
It’s been a struggle to watch this Falcons defense perform week to week after the high hopes that the team and fans had entering the 2019 season. Still, in Jarrett the Falcons have a Pro Bowl caliber defensive tackle to watch in the final eight games of the season along with a solid cornerstone to rebuild their defense around in the coming offseason.